It’s another day and another gigantesque construction project proposed by a Saudi prince in the Middle East. Prince Mohammed bin Salman believes that normal cities are getting too boring and its time to take things up a notch by building a metropolis the size of three countries!
The announcement for this project was made during a critical point in Saudi Arabia’s economy and the government is hopeful that the new mega-city will be the breakthrough that the country needs to boost its economic and innovative status in the world.
Rebuilding the Economy
For many years, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been the biggest exporter of oil in the world. The oil-rich nation has been able to strengthen its economy and GDP by selling its coveted commodity to other countries but the recent crash in the oil prices has left the jobs and future of thousands of Saudi workers in danger.
The crumbling economy has had a terrible impact on current construction projects, most of them left abandoned due to lack of funding and shortage of workers. Dropping oil prices has also begun a food crisis in the Kingdom, leaving thousands of immigrant workers hungry and jobless. In a time of severe economic crisis, Saudi Prince has proposed a construction project for the biggest mega city on the planet to give the country’s economy a boost and bring the jobs back.
The NEOM Project
Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi Crown Prince, held a Future Investment Initiative conference during which he announced the commencement of the biggest construction project in the Middle East to date called the NEOM project.
The purpose of this project is to open doors to trade and innovation in the country, making its economy less dependent on oil export. The construction project, which will cost a whopping $640 billion to build, is funded by private investors and Saudi government and isn’t expected to be completed any time before 2025.
A New Mega-city by 2025
The Prince and his team of architects have chosen a strategic location for this mega-city somewhere between the mountains and the Red Sea, making it a completely independent economic zone for trade and innovation. This independent city will follow its own laws and regulations and will span over 10,000 square miles, making it almost 33 times larger than New York City! The government is hopeful that this metropolitan will attract foreign investors and entrepreneurs to start businesses in Saudi Arabia and give a boost to the nation’s rapidly declining GDP.
Aims to Run the Metropolitan on Renewable Energy
A huge chunk of the construction budget for the NEOM project is reserved for solar panels and wind turbines that will cover vast fields bigger than the size of a football stadium. The mega-city will be fitted with electrical grids capable of storing low-cost renewable energy for generations.
Mohammed bin Salman explained the purpose of the city, “This place is not for conventional people or conventional companies, this will be a place for the dreamers for the world.” Once fully constructed, NEOM will become one of the biggest cities in the world powered solely by renewable energy.
Moreover, the city will have smart road plans to minimize traffic and air pollution. The city will also have a hundred percent eco-friendly transport system and create new routes between different continents to facilitate trade. Plans of building a bridge to connect Asia and Africa have also been indicated on the official NEOM website.
As if green transport system and renewable energy weren’t enough to convince us that NEOM will be the most advanced metropolitan in the world, the Prince also revealed his plans for building record-breaking theme parks, sky-high shopping malls and a futuristic infrastructure that will attract tourists from all over the world to experience a new Middle East.